Time to say good bye

Isis snuggled in the quilts on the bed
It's amazing how much our pets can touch us and influence our lives. When I got Isis (although I think she picked me) she was a scrawny six pound alley cat who'd been dumped at the vet with her kittens. She was scared of everything and everyone except for me. We were a duo - she aways snuggled, slept with me and kept me company. I played with her, made sure the food bowl was always full (part of the reason she got up to 16 pounds...) I'd come home from PT class with a pile of homework, a lab exam to study for and three projects. She'd meet me at the door with a meow and take my mind off of the stress of the day with her throaty purr and antics like eating my sweet potato off my plate. When I was in Spokane for one of my clinical, Isis stayed with Mom. Mom told me when I go home that she'd never seen a more unhappy cat for those two months.

I'm too comfortable to play - but that looks fun.
Fast forward a year and I moved in with Nick. Isis was not happy about that. She had to share me for attention and there was this strange guy who wanted to torture her. It took a few months, but she finally accepted Nick and tolerated DumDum. The four of us slowly became a family, with Isis begging Nick for her daily beating and being perfectly happy snuggling with either one of us.Sometimes, I think she was starting to love Nick more..He gave her more "junk" food, like chicken and cheese. I just gave her the diet food so we could get her weight down to a healthy range. Her skittishness was fading as well, as she stopped running in terror when we had company. The vacuum cleaner still sent her flying... She went through three moves- once to Golden, back to the condo and finally to the new house. She took everything with the resilience of her alley cat heritage.

This is the life - snoozing in the sun...
 Back in July, I posted about the tumor on her shoulder. Well, she'd started developing more and more tumors, ranging from small lumps in her arm pits, neck and chest to another large one on her left hip. I knew time was getting short - she wasn't playing like she used too and wasn't eating much. I started giving her canned food and that helped for a while. But in the last weeks, she started having more trouble. She wasn't moving her tail at all - just letting it hang behind her legs. That was a major change from her normal behavior. Then in the last few days, she was having problems with her rear legs. Stumbling when she was walking at times, loosing her balance. Not sitting as smoothly and having problems getting up at times. She wouldn't come downstairs with us at night and growled at me when I brought her down to bed. Monday when I got home from work, she was sitting at the bottom of the stairs, looking at me like "I need some help here, please?" She tried the first few stairs, but was stumbling and having problems with getting her rear paws on the stairs. For someone who used to drag race up the stairs when we put fresh food in the bowl, I knew. Tuesday, she was meowing for food, but not sitting to eat. She'd go into the litter box, paw around, then walk out and paw the carpet some more. And this morning....

I worked hard to get here! Relaxing on an old box spring
I couldn't stand the look in her eyes. She was pacing around the kitchen, stumbling just a little, going to sit, but not making it down. In her favorite sunbeam, she couldn't move her rear legs well enough to get comfortable and couldn't get up easily to go to a different spot in the sun. And she just kept looking at me, a frustrated, pleading look. She wasn't happy at all. And things were going to get worse as the tumor on her hip and all over her body kept impairing her mobility. The last thing I wanted was for my baby to suffer - and she was suffering. It was time... Saying good bye is aways the hardest, but I didn't want her to be in pain or not be able to get around. Anything else would to not show her the respects she deserved.


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